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Business Policy and Strategic Management

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Essay title: Business Policy and Strategic Management

UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON, BOTHELL

BBUS 470: Business Policy and Strategic Management

Autumn 2006

Dr. Kevin Laverty Kristen Spangler, MBA

Email: laverty@u.washington.edu

Office: UWB2-325

Phone: 425.352.5338 Email: kspangler@uwb.edu

Office: UWB1-380

Phone: 425.352.3664

Office Hours:

TU & TH Noon.-1pm

TU & TH 8-9 pm (by appointment only)

Or by appointment Office Hours:

TU & TH 9:30am-1pm

TU & TH 3:30pm-5:30pm

Or by appointment

Text: Hitt, Ireland and Hoskisson, Strategic Management, 7th edition

Case Packet: Available at the Bookstore

COURSE DESCRIPTION

In this course we will learn about a firm’s business policy – from how it chooses strategies to achieve its objectives. In particular, we will work to understand how organizational competencies can lead to sustainable competitive advantages, how industry competitive dynamics erode those advantages, and the integrative nature of policy decisions.

In this course, you will deal with a real business situation. The strategic problems will be amorphous and will contend with other problems for your attention. Having a neatly prescribed problem will be unusual; having to decide which among a host of problems requiring response will be more typical. This course mirrors the real world of business in that you will determine what the problems are, which are important and which are not. You will choose what theory and methods you have learned in this and other courses to resolve specific problems. You will assess which of many possible approaches to a situation will be best for a particular firm.

The course is demanding. Rigor and clarity are required. You will need to learn strategic theories; draw on what you have learned in other business courses; conduct both quantitative and qualitative analyses; apply book knowledge to real-world phenomena; think critically, logically and integratively; and communicate well.

COURSE DESIGN

The main learning tools for the course will be:

• Textbook and lectures: explain theory and tools for business policy;

• Case studies: force you to make sense of complex, multidimensional strategic situations and apply theoretical frameworks to them;

• Group project: provide application of strategic thinking to a real company;

• Exams: evaluate your understanding of the complexities in the business policy; and

• Participation: gives you practice listening, raising questions, applying analytical frameworks, explaining and supporting your position, and changing your position when appropriate.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING

Group Project: Detailed guidelines are attached.

First project

10% paper, Due November 2

5% presentation – 15 minutes

Final project

20% paper, Internal Report due December 5, Final due December 12

15% presentation – 15 minutes; “Dry Run” on December 5, Final on December 12

Grading of Group Project

Grade sheets will be provided for both projects before they are due.

In grading group projects, the instructors will assign a team grade. This grade will be determined based on the instructors’ assessment of performance. You will be asked to provide your own assessment of your classmates’ presentations using the form found at the end of the syllabus. Results from your assessment will be taken into consideration by the instructors.

Additionally, you will be asked to evaluate each of your team member’s contributions to the group project using the form at the

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